Advancing SoC Technology


As chip designers, we take logic synthesis for granted. It’s hard to imagine the days when engineers had to design digital logic by hand. But then, it’s no less mind-boggling to believe that NASA engineers used slide rules to calculate and plan the Apollo 11 mission that first landed on the moon. Were engineers just a whole lot smarter in the old days? Maybe. But it’s also true that c... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 23


World’s smallest inkjet image ETH Zurich and Scrona have set the official world’s record for the smallest inkjet-printed color image. The feat, which has been recognized by the Guinness World Records, is based on Scrona’s so-called NanoDrip printing technology and quantum dots. ETH and Scrona printed an image of clown fishes and sea anemones. The printed image measures 0.0092mm² in a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 25


Asteroid mining and metrology The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a new space bill. The bill, entitled H.R. 2262— U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness, includes a provision that discusses the rights for companies that mine any materials on asteroids. In simple terms, the bill recognizes the right of U.S. companies to own asteroid resources that they mine in space, accordin... » read more

Blog Review: May 20


FinFETs change the equation for power optimization, says Mentor's Vincent Lebars – and while companies are attacking some power gains, there is much more to be had doing datapath optimization within the place and route flow. Cadence's Richard Goering talks with Oz Levia about the future direction of formal and its integration into other product lines now that the merger between Cadence and... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 16


Space DSA NASA's Physical Science Research Program is taking directed self-assembly (DSA) technology to new heights. On the International Space Station, astronauts are exploring the development of nanoparticles suspended in magnetorheolocial (MR) fluids. MR fluids, which are a new class of smart materials, self-assemble into shapes in the presence of a magnetic field. With the technology, r... » read more

Blog Review: Nov. 5


Cadence's Brian Fuller zeroes in on ISO 26262, the automotive safety standard that's supposed to guard against nightmare failures in your car. Hopefully it works. They won't protect against cyber terrorism, though. Rambus' Aharon Etengoff takes a look at the challenges of connected vehicles. Mentor's J. Van Domelen looks at NASA's increased reliance on commercial partners, which has not b... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 28


Making graphene from cooked sawdust The University of Birmingham has found a new and cheap way to make nanostructured carbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene. The magic formula? Common sawdust. Sawdust is made up of cellulose and lignin. Researchers can convert this biomass material into nanostructured graphitic carbon in a single step. [caption id="attachment_15639" alig... » read more

Quantum Computer Race Heats Up


For years, there has been an intense race among various nations to develop the world’s fastest supercomputers. The U.S. and Japan led the field until 2010, when China stunned the market and rolled out the world’s fastest supercomputer. And today, China continues to lead the field with a supercomputer capable of running at speeds of 33.86 petaflops per second. While the supercomputer race... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 10


Space Telescopes The James Webb Space Telescope, the follow-on mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. Slated for a launch date of 2018, Webb will find the first galaxies that were formed in the early Universe. Webb is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Webb’s measurements will ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 19


Toothpick Fab Tools NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has developed a specialized atomic layer deposition (ALD) system and a "virtual toothpick" to enable ultra-thin films on chips and systems. NASA has built an ALD reactor chamber, which measures three inches in diameter and two feet in length. The system can deposit films inside pores and cavities, giving ALD the abilit... » read more

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